Cooperative Republic of Guyana

Free wifi to RDC, remote locations

The E-Governance service when rolled out to the Ministry of Communities, it’s various departments and sub-agencies will greatly revolutionize and enhance the efficient functioning of the ministry.

A technical team from E-Government Guyana Unit led by Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Floyd Levi met with Permanent Secretary, Emil McGarrell and outlined the agency’s intention to provide high speed internet connectivity and other technological services.
“We’re on a mission,” Levi said. “First of all, to ensure that the Integrated Financial Management System (IFMAS) is up and running and as part of Government’s initiative to provide free wifi or improved access at all government buildings,” he explained.
Levi revealed that the agency will also provide “Red phones” to the Permanent Secretaries and the Ministers of Government.
The “Red Phone” is usually an emergency line that provides direct communication between leaders.
He further disclosed that connectivity will be provided on a priority basis with the Ministry of the Presidency, Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Communities among the first set of beneficiaries.

According to Levi, the agency has already begun connecting Regional Democratic Councils (RDCs) since they are all in proximity to the towers.
“…and so they are expected to be connected right away.”
There are also satellite bases in Waramadong, Mathew’s Ridge, Mabaruma, Port Kaituma, Annai, Lethem and several other hinterland communities and sub-districts.
However, the E-Gov Head noted that the agency is aware that the ministry’s wifi requirement extends beyond just the regions.
As such, E-Government will examine a list of priorities areas that require connectivity based largely on the scope of work or its geographical composition.

The ministry has emphasized that the strategic focus would be on the municipalities even as there are moves to strengthen local democracy and support the establishment of capital towns regionally.
In another few months, the team disclosed that a video conferencing suite will be fully functional to allow for e-meetings between government officials locally and overseas.

This is expected to greatly diminish any financial extravagance as it relates to transport cost and logistics.
The CDCs will be required to work with the regions to establish and monitor electronic help desks which are expected to improve the country’s ease-of-doing business index. The help desk will be monitored by an e-receptionist and this will allow for interaction with government officials for persons who may have complaints and other matters to be discussed.

It is expected that the service will make government officials even more accessible to the public through indirect means.
Levi revealed that random communities will be selected for connectivity beginning in Pomeroon/Supernaam (Region 2) as the network is being extended to cover these areas.
President David Granger has already made known his intentions to eventually provide free wifi to every citizen. This will include visitors to government waiting rooms and offices.
The E-Government team explained that once the issue of configuring is sorted out, the service can be accessed by government offices and secondary schools across the regions.
This is being done in collaboration with Digicel which is providing the relevant infrastructure in the form of its towers.
“Everyone is looking forward to improved internet access. An ICT hub was recently commissioned in Good Hope and this will allow for access by the community,” Levi said.

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